Extractives in Transition

The Environment and Society Centre has developed research and dialogue on pressing issues for extractives producing countries since the early 2000s.

The need for new thinking on the role of extractives in society – from supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, to enabling energy transition at the speed and scale required to deliver the Paris Agreement – has never been clearer.

Environment and Society Centre work on extractives in transition falls under three related areas:

Fossil fuel supply and climate change

Our early work focused on oil, gas and energy policy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with an emphasis on energy efficiency and fossil fuels subsidies reform. Since 2014 our work has focused on:

  • Developing new approaches to help oil and gas producing countries manage climate-related risks and accelerate their transition;
  • Delivering capacity building courses for officials and civil society from producer countries;
  • Informing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s (EITI’s) approach to climate change and energy transition.

Ahead of COP26, we are working with partners to establish an alliance of first-mover countries that are committed to phasing out oil and gas production.

Energy and extractives governance

Our work helps improve the governance of extractives at country and company levels, with work on:

  • Good governance of the petroleum sector;
  • The founding of the New Producers Group in 2012 (supporting peer learning and dialogue between over 40 oil and gas producing countries);
  • Links between extractives, conflict and peacebuilding;
  • The future of oil markets and international oil companies in light of the energy transition and COVID-19 pandemic.

Mining, minerals and metals

Our work explores the transformation of the mining sector and of metals and minerals markets in response to climate change and wider social and environmental pressures. Research has focused on a range of issues including:

  • Country-company conflicts in the mining sector;
  • Governance of global metals and minerals markets;
  • Impacts of mining on forests;
  • Prospects for sustainable sand extraction.

Additionally, the Mining and Society Roundtable provides an independent forum for debate on a range of policy issues, from the role of minerals in the energy transition and the decarbonization of mining and supply chains, to the transition to a circular economy and implications for the sector’s ‘social license’ to operate.